The term oral pathology refers to the development of an abnormal condition or disease in the mouth, jaw or related structures. Although most pathology does not result in a serious problem when diagnosed and treated, extreme cases may indicate or lead to malignancy.
This year, more than 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer. Oral malignancy is especially deadly because diagnosis and treatment often occur too late. Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to ensure your ongoing health and well-being.
Excellent Recovery Rates with Early Detection
Most pathology is easily diagnosed and treated, as long as it is detected during the early stages. In fact, the Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that as many as 90 percent of patients survive when pathology is discovered early and treatment is begun immediately.
Common Symptoms of Oral Pathology
Unfortunately, some types of malignancy do not present with any notable symptoms. Pathology also may develop in areas that are not readily noticeable. Below is a list of common symptoms that warrant an immediate visit to our office. Although the chances of a serious problem are unlikely, it’s important to know as soon as possible.
- A mouth sore that bleeds easily or refuses to heal
- Chronic hoarseness or persistent sore throat
- An unexplained lump in the throat or neck tissues
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- A lump or thickening inside the mouth
- Unexplained red or whitish patches in the mouth
Preventing Oral Cancer
The most common causes of pathology or cancer of the mouth include tobacco and alcohol use; however, oral disease can occur for many reasons. Understanding and avoiding risk factors is the best form of prevention.
Conducting monthly self-exams is another way to catch potential problems, but nothing can take the place of routine exams by a dentist or oral pathology specialist. At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Indianapolis, we use advanced technology to aid in the early detection of disease.
Contact our office today to schedule your appointment for an exam, including a comprehensive pathology screening. Our doctors can examine any areas of concern and advise you about ways to improve and maintain oral health, and to avoid developing oral pathology in the future.